GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A big partnership between two Mississippi hospitals is underway. The idea is that when two major medical institutions shake hands, the patients benefit.
This was the philosophy behind a new relationship between Memorial Hospital at Gulfport and the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Pediatric system, Children's of Mississippi.
"We've been supporting pediatrics in the community as part of our Katrina recovery strategies," said Gary Marchand, President and CEO of Gulfport Memorial.
According to Marchand, strengthening the pediatric care presence on the Gulf Coast has been one of his main goals. He noted that the issue existed long before Katrina hit.
"We have, for decades, struggled with getting a pediatric specialist to have more of a consistent presence on the Gulf Coast. This next step basically assures that access remains now, for the long-term into the future," said Marchand.
The big change, according to Marchand, will make medical care for children a one-stop shop with Memorial's clinics. Four of the six will be under the Children's of Mississippi monicker and will allow referrals to specialists to be done within the system.
As for the actual care, Marchand said the only thing changing is the signs on the buildings.
"Same doctors, same nurses, same staff, same locations. If you need to be referred to specialty care, it's going to be a lot more seamless," he said.
The four clinics included in this collaboration are the Bay Saint Louis, Cedar Lake, Highway 49, and Lorraine Road locations.